World number three Garbiñe Muguruza stormed to victory at the WTA Finals this year and now her coach Conchita Martínez has been honoured for her work with the Spaniard.
The 49-year-old, who began coaching Muguruza on a full-time basis in 2020, has been named the WTA Coach of the Year.
Martínez is the fourth recipient of the award, with previous winners including Naomi Osaka’s former coach Sascha Bajin, Ashleigh Barty’s mentor Craig Tyzzer, and Iga Natalia Świątek’s tutor Piotr Sierzputowski.
The pair first started working together in 2017 as Muguruza won her second Grand Slam title at Wimbledon.
Last year, the two rekindled their partnership and since then, Muguruza’s game has gone from strength to strength.
This year, the Spaniard reached five WTA finals and won titles at the Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships, the Chicago Fall Tennis Classic and then in Guadalajara at the season-ending Tour Finals.
It’s been a stark contrast to 2020, where Muguruza failed to win a tournament and reached just one final all season.
But under Martinez’s guidance, the 28-year-old has re-established herself as one of the world’s best baseline players and has become more aggressive with her first serve.
The award-winning coach was a world-class player herself during her professional career and reached a high of second in the WTA rankings.
She is best remembered for her victory at Wimbledon in 1994, where she beat the great Martina Navratilova to capture her only Grand Slam title.
Aside from her triumph at the All England Club, Martinez reached the final of the Australian Open in 1998 and the French Open in 2000.
A five-time winner of the Fed Cup, the 49-year-old captained the Spanish Fed Cup team between 2013 and 2017 and the Davis Cup team from 2015 to 2017.
In 2020, she was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, having won more than $11 million in prize money during her esteemed career.
While the Coach of the Year Award takes into account the success of players on the court, it also recognises those who have been ambassadors for the sport and helped bring coaching to the forefront of the game.
Muguruza’s improvement under Martinez has been remarkable and the two-time major winner will now look ahead to the Australian Open, where she is considered one of the favourites.
The world number three reached the final in Melbourne back in 2020 but lost to rising star Sofia Kenin.
Now, under Martinez’ tutelage, the Spaniard will be hopeful of going one step further.News Now - Sport News